When he signed for Chelsea in 2005, José Mourinho defined Essien as a "multifunctional" player. The Ghanaian international has a quality that stands out above everything else: his versatility. The Real Madrid player has spent most of his career in midfield but has also played at right-back and in central defence.
After shining for Ghana u-17s in the 1999 New Zealand World Cup, Essien took the leap into European football in 2000 to when signing for Bastia. Two seasons were enough to dazzle one of the Europe’s big clubs and he signed for Olympique Lyon in 2002. Three years later he ended up at Chelsea. His physical power is remarkable and makes him a great midfielder, but apart from that Essien also has the ability to organise attacks and score goals.
His powerful stature has earned him the nickname of The Bison. The Real Madrid player, who was described in the past by José Mourinho as an "athlete who can run for hours, a spectacular athlete", is a physical marvel. The Ghanaian will be coming to a coach who he already managed him at Chelsea for three seasons from 2005 to 2008.
For Essien football is not everything. The player is very committed to his country and to the living conditions there, especially of those most in need and of the children. Whenever he has the opportunity he participates in charity events.
- Place of Birth: Accra (Ghana)
- Date of Birth: 12/03/1982
- Position: Midfielder
- Weight: 85 kg.
- Height: 177 cm
- Nationality: Ghanaian
- Champions League: 2011/12
- English League: 2005/06, 2009/10
- FA Cups: 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2011/12
- Community Shield: 2009
- English League Cup: 2066/07
- French League titles: 2003/04, 2004/05
- Best player in the French League: 2005